The SolidFire Blog
Storage Notes for the Next Generation Data Center

Performance And Profits Should Not Be Mutually Exclusive

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In my last post I discussed the need for new innovations to bridge the gap between today’s cloud service offerings and the infrastructure required to bring all applications into the cloud. Most enterprises lack the confidence that a multi-tenant cloud can provide the predictable, consistent storage performance, and the high availability their production applications demand. Meanwhile, service providers who are trying to bridge this gap with legacy storage solutions, are struggling with the seemingly inverse relationship between performance and profits. It doesn’t have to be this way.

At SolidFire we think the recipe for successfully increasing both performance and profit contains three key ingredients: a high performance storage architecture, fine grain QoS controls, and virtual machine (VM) density. Combining these three components together into a single platform has powerful, and profitable, implications for cloud service providers. Over the next few weeks I will dive deeper into each of these ingredients. First let’s tackle the importance of a high-performance architecture.

Performance to cloud service providers isn’t just some IOPS-based vanity metric. For those running IT as a profit center the real measure of performance is how well the underlying architecture endures under normal operating conditions, including:

  • Deduplication, compression and thin provisioning processes
  • Adding and removing capacity to a system
  • Linearly scaling of capacity and performance
  • Adjusting per volume or tenant quality-of-service settings
  • Recovery from failure conditions

When evaluating a high-performance storage architecture you have to be careful. While raw IOPS are important, they are not a viable business model for service providers. You can spend a lot of money on storage performance and still present an unpredictable environment to your customer’s performance sensitive applications.

At SolidFire the ability to scale our all-flash design to 5 million IOPS is just the starting point. Equally important as raw performance is the ability to guarantee it at an individual volume level; offering consistent and predictable performance regardless of system activity or condition.

Hosting high performance applications represents a massive growth opportunity for cloud providers. However, without the right balance of performance and predictability, this opportunity remains out of reach. SolidFire helps close the gap for cloud providers, making high-performance applications in the cloud a profitable reality.  Learn how on 11/13/12. Get Ready.

-Dave Wright, Founder & CEO

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Dave Wright

About Dave Wright

Dave Wright, SolidFire CEO and founder, left Stanford in 1998 to help start GameSpy Industries, a leader in online videogame media, technology, and software. GameSpy merged with IGN Entertainment in 2004 and Dave served as Chief Architect for IGN and led technology integration with FIM / MySpace after IGN was acquired by NewsCorp in 2005. In 2007 Dave founded Jungle Disk, a pioneer and early leader in cloud-based storage and backup solutions for consumers and businesses. Jungle Disk was acquired by leading cloud provider Rackspace in 2008 and Dave worked closely with the Rackspace Cloud division to build a cloud platform supporting tens of thousands of customers. In December 2009 Dave left Rackspace to start SolidFire.

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